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Calendar No. 926
110th Congress Report
2d Session 110-435
HONORING THE ACHIEVEMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF NATIVE AMERICANS TO THE
UNITED STATES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
July 31, 2008.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Dorgan, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.J. Res. 62]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the
joint resolution (H.J. Res. 62) to honor the achievements and
contributions of Native Americans to the United States, and for
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably
thereon with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and
recommends that the joint resolution (as amended) do pass.
The Purpose of H.J. Res. 62 is to designate Friday,
November 28, 2008, as ``Native American Heritage Day,'' and to
encourage the people of the United States, as well as Federal,
State, and local governments, and interested groups and
organizations to observe Native American Heritage Day.
As the descendents of the original, indigenous inhabitants
of what is now the United States, Native Americans have
provided contributions to the political, economic and cultural
development of the United States. Numerous contributions have
been offered in civilian life. In addition, Native Americans
have consistently served with distinction in the Armed Forces
of the United States since the Revolutionary War. More Native
Americans per capita have served in the Armed Forces than any
other group of Americans. Designation of November 28, 2008 as
Native American Heritage Day would allow an opportunity to
recognize these contributions.
According to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of
Indian Affairs, designation of a National American Indian and
Alaska Native Heritage Month has been a century-long effort,
traditionally occurring in the month of November. The
recognition has occurred in the past through several non-Indian
and Indian organizations. In 1990, President George W. Bush
signed a proclamation naming November 1990 as Native American
Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have occurred annually
under Presidents William J. Clinton and George H. W. Bush since
There have been legislative efforts to designate a specific
day as Native American Heritage Day, but none have succeeded.
Although several states have designated a Native American
Heritage Day since 1916, there has been no similar designation
by the Federal government.
H.J. Res. 62 designates November 28, 2008, as ``Native
American Heritage Day'' and encourages educational outreach in
elementary and secondary schools to honor the past and present
contributions of Native Americans. It is hoped that passage of
H.J. Res. 62 will encourage the American public's interest in
the history and contributions of Native Americans and inspire
Native Americans of all ages to celebrate the great
achievements of their ancestors and heroes. The designation of
a Native American Heritage Day will provide recognition of the
contributions of Native Americans to the United States military
and civilian life and acknowledge their heritage and culture.
SUMMARY OF THE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUE
During an open business meeting on April 24, 2008, the
Committee considered and approved an amendment in the nature of
substitute to H.J. Res. 62. The amendment in the nature of a
substitute limited the measure to designating Friday, November
28, 2008, as ``Native American Heritage Day,'' and removed
references to the United States Constitution in Sections 2 and
SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF H.J. RES 62, AS AMENDED
Section 1. Short title
Section 1 provides the short title of the bill as the
``Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008.''
Section 2. Findings
Section 2 states that Congress finds that Native Americans
are descendants of the original inhabitants of what is now the
United States. It also finds that more Native Americans per
capita have served in the United States military than any other
group of Americans and they have done so with valor. In
addition, Congress finds that there are many distinct and
significant contributions by Native Americans in culture,
society, religion, politics, economics, medicine and education
to the United States and the rest of the world. Section 2
states that nationwide recognition of these contributions will
encourage Native Americans of all ages. Additionally, Section 2
finds that an annual designation of this day will underscore
the government-to-government relationship between the Federal
government and tribes and will encourage additional
understanding of Native Americans in our public education
Section 3. Implementation of Native American Heritage Day
Section 3 states that Congress designates Friday, November
28, 2008 as ``Native American Heritage Day.'' Section 3 also
encourages the people of the United States as well as Federal,
State and local governments, and interested groups and
organizations to observe Native American Heritage Day with
appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. Section 3
states that such activities may include activities relating to
the historical and present-day status of Native Americans and
tribal governments; the culture, traditions and languages of
Native Americans; and the rich cultural legacy of Native
Americans that all Americans enjoy today.
H.J. Res. 62 was introduced in the House of Representatives
on November 13, 2007 by Representative Joe Baca, for himself
and 83 other original cosponsors. H.J. Res. 62 was referred to
the Committee on Education and Labor.
On November 13, 2007, the House of Representatives moved to
consider H.J. Res. 62 under suspension of the rules, the rules
were suspended and H.J. Res. 62 was agreed to by voice vote.
H.J. Res. 62 was sent to the Senate and referred to the
Committee on Indian Affairs.
On April 24, 2008, the Committee convened a business
meeting to consider H.J. Res 62 and ordered it to be favorably
reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.
Three other bills were also introduced in the 110th
Congress that relate to the designation of Native American
Heritage Day: S. 1852 was introduced by Senator Inouye on July
23, 2007 and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary;
H.R. 3585 was introduced by Representative Baca on September
19, 2007, and referred to the House Subcommittee on Higher
Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness; and S. Res.
400 was introduced by Senator Inouye on December 11, 2007, and
referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. No further
action has been taken on these measures.
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION AND TABULATION OF VOTE
On April 24, 2008, the Committee on Indian Affairs convened
a business meeting to consider H.J. Res. 62, and other
measures. During the business meeting, the Committee voted, by
voice vote, to report H.J. Res. 62 favorably, with an amendment
in the nature of a substitute, to the full Senate with the
recommendation that it do pass.
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following cost estimate, as provided by the
Congressional Budget Office, dated May 28, 2008, was prepared
for H.J. Res. 62:
H.J. Res. 62--Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008
H.J. Res. 62 would designate Friday, November 28, 2008, as
Native American Heritage Day. CBO estimates that implementing
this legislation would have no significant impact on the
federal budget. Enacting H.J. Res. 62 would not affect direct
spending or revenues.
H.J. Res. 62 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Leigh Angres.
This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT
Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate
the regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that H.J. Res. 62
will have a minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork
The Committee has received no communications from the
Executive Branch regarding H.J. Res. 62.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by H.J. Res. 62.